UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks little changed as resources slide

Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:42am EDT
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* Financials rise as U.S. Congress mulls bailout

* Resources retreat as metal, oil prices ease

* Fairfax up on report it's eyeing AIG assets (Adds details)

TORONTO, Sept 23 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was little changed on Tuesday morning as weaker commodity issues offset financials, which rose amid key congressional testimony on the $700 billion U.S. financial bailout plan.

The architects of the rescue plan, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, urged Congress on Tuesday to act quickly on the plan for the government to buy up billions of illiquid assets to stabilize U.S. financial markets. See [ID:nN13574113]

"They're looking for reassurance that there is a credible plan and they're in fact committed to getting this plan to the marketplace," said Paul Taylor, chief investment officer at BMO Harris Investment Management Inc.

"Any assurances that regulators, administrative officials in New York and Washington can give to their commitment to a successful outcome is going to move the market."

Markets also digested the possible sale of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc's LEHMQ.PK European arm, seen as the next step in Wall Street's makeover. See [ID:nLN230451]

In choppy morning activity, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 13.12 points, or 0.1 percent, at 12,651.19, shortly before 11:30 a.m., after rising more than 100 points and bobbing into negative territory. Seven of its 10 main groups were higher.   Continued...